Taking up art as a career choice in Malta is no easy task; what with the relative lack of opportunities in the sector and the occasional dismissive attitude towards the arts.
Nonetheless, a certain appreciation for artistic practices is slowly being birthed in Malta – especially among younger generations – and passion is being fuelled by a better understanding of the ins-and-outs of the sector. In light of this, we’ve compiled a list of people to watch, some of the rising stars that Malta has to offer in the field of visual arts.
WeFreeOnes (owned by MCAST student Matthew Ben Attard) produces experimental art with an overall borderline-dystopian feel.
From retro posters to drawings incorporating virtual-reality, Matthew makes use of both traditional and digital methods in his designs and illustrations. While he pursues his passion, this guy also does a fair bit of freelancing here and there, occasionally helping out with branding, design, and illustration.
Amassing over 500 followers in less than a year, PaperYellow has taken the Maltese Instagram scene by storm.
Thanks to her quirky and fun illustrations offering social commentary about some of society’s most pertinent issues and her tongue-in-cheek ‘Weird Crush Wednesday’ series, PaperYellow’s posts are something we’ve started looking forward to seeing on our feeds.
From illustrations and character designs to the occasional doodle, Frannie Gee does it all.
Most of her works are reminiscent of some of our favourite fairytales and manage to give a magical twist to everyday experiences and observations she might come across. Frannie Gee was also responsible for the poster design of Ninu, a Maltese play exploring adolescence and anxiety that took place last March at Spazju Kreattiv.
This guy loves good music – and it shows in his art. Jordan Falzon gives his craft an unconventional twist, often taking a break from sketching to indulge in an out-of-the-box project.
Our favourite pieces of his have to be the rapper action figure series (believe us, it’s as wonderfully crazy as it sounds). Jordan makes his own unique packaging and figures and creates tokens reflective of the rapper’s identity; we’re pretty sure we’d buy the whole stock if these ever went into production.
For a 20-year-old Digital Arts student, Giulia has surely managed to establish her own style.
Her colourful and quirky approach reminds us a bit of a young Van Gogh, and makes her works easy to distinguish from any of the others on this list. Apart from illustrations and the occasional traditional sketch, Giulia has also given graphic design and photography a shot, so it’s safe to say she’s onto something.
Emma is making waves locally as she was recently announced as one of the Malta Arts Council’s Artivisti for 2019.
Earlier this year, this young artist publicly exhibited a number of her works to alongside Martina Camilleri in an exhibition titled Displacing. The show dealt with encompassing the physicality of emotions through materiality and was quite the hit among art-lovers locally.
Jess Made This Mess
This Bath Spa graduate’s interests lie in non-conventional story narratives and anything out of the ordinary.
Her clever use of colour helps evoke a very particular feeling within viewers of her work – a cross between eerie and uncanny. Apart from sketches and animation, Jess has also made her fair share of storyboards, one in particular being used for Agata Chudziak’s first single, Farewell To Nothing.
This Digital Arts student at the University of Malta is making noise with her borderline-surreal style of drawing.
Pair that with a killer colour-palette and you’ve got a recipe for success. Emma’s sources of inspiration vary; from traditional portraits to patterns made from otherworldly mash-ups of everyday items. If these patterns ever made it out to print, we’d be the first in line to buy a couple.